As I sit metaphorically peering in the rear vision mirror, I must confess the thought of doing a U-turn is tempting. If I am being completely honest, which I try to always be, life was a lot simpler before knowing God. If I felt sad or lonely, I would find some quick fix, some solution to make my pain go away. I would even use this technique with the big things in life, like relationships. If I went through a break up, I would slip into a momentary depression, and then just willfully snap out of it, taking on the ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’ attitude. Then, quite simply I would just go out and find someone else to be with. Someone else to fall in love with, someone else to love me and tell me how special I am. There was always someone who wanted me, I just had to be proactive… Problem solved, right?! If work was too challenging, or annoying, or not exactly where I wanted to be, I would just leave. If there was anything in my life that wasn’t perfect, or that was not making me ‘feel’ good, I would abandon it in a heartbeat. The thought of anything more than a simple, happy, stress free, non-confrontational life made me ill. So I ran. And back then it worked. As I look through these old photos, I look happy, I look radiant, carefree, unburdened. Life was not always great, but I knew how to ‘fix it’. I knew what I had to do to take the pain away, to make life easy again. But, as the old cliche goes, life wasn’t mean’t to be easy.
And nor is faith.
You can only run for so long, before you need to stop and take a good look in the mirror. Suffice to say I did not like what I saw, and for once in my life, I had no idea how to fix it. No amount of running, or seeking, or planning, or denying, or abandoning was going to take away the pain of a lifetime of poor decisions, made by a person overflowing with pride, and bogged down with shame and guilt, desperate to take the pain away. So, the U-turn which at first seemed enticing, upon reflection is not so appealing. Sure, I may have looked happy in those photos, but these were temporary moments captured in a single shot, taken almost always by someone who loved me. Taken by someone who loved me with a temporary love, a love that evolved from my attempts to ‘fix things’, a measured, conditional love that did not last.
I have a choice, there will always be choice. I can do the U-turn and go back to willlfully finding quick fix solutions in the hope that one of these solutions may lead to lasting happiness, or I can place my faith in someone who can see the bigger picture, someone who has loved me since before conception, and will continue to love me well after my last breath. Faith is not a quick solution that will instantly take pain away. Do not be deceived, it is a tough, long, challenging, confrontational journey that lasts forever. A journey that involves a complete transformation from the inside, where no stone is left unturned. There are times when it all seems too difficult, and I want to go back to the blissful ignorance, and false sense of control. What makes the journey bearable is the object of faith, a loving compassionate, kind, gracious God, who is always patient with His children. A God who has already given the ‘solution.’ He has given us a saviour, a protector, a guide, a role model, a safe refuge where love is not temporary, but eternal.
The solution is Jesus. The reward is Heaven.
God bless xx